The OIE Laboratory Twinning project between the Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e Molise “G. Caporale” (IZSAM, Teramo, Italy) – OIE Reference Laboratory for Brucellosis – and the National Veterinary Reference Centre (NVRC, Kazakhstan) started in November 2013. This project was aimed at providing scientific and technical assistance to enhance capacities and improvethe scientific capabilities in relation to diagnosis and surveillance of animal brucellosis in Kazakhstan. It was funded by the Italian Republic through the OIE World Fund.
On 3-4 December 2015 in Astana (Kazakhstan), once the twinning achieved, a seminar presented the results of this twinning programme to representatives from Veterinary Services of Central Asian countries (Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).
During this meeting, the Italian experts underscored how all diagnostic methods should be undertaken in accordance with OIE international standards, including standardisation and validation of methods, development of new procedures for diagnosis and control of brucellosis, implementation of regular inter-laboratory proficiency tests to ensure comparability of results and quality assurance system on diagnostic procedures. This twinning project particularly focused on undertaking an epidemiological assessment of the national brucellosis situation in the country, train staff on serology, bacteriology, media production, molecular biology and dissemination of results of tests conducted.
With a particularly endemic situation in the sub-region, IZSAM proposed its support to Central Asian countries on laboratory-related work on brucellosis.
The NVRC is now expected to improve its facilities, pursue capacity building and commitment to improve skills in diagnosis and surveillance developed through this twinning project. With a full political-financial support for equipment, personnel, and training. NVRC will work on maintaining a system of quality assurance, bio-safety, and bio-security relevant for brucellosis.
Conscious of the persistence of brucellosis in this sub-region, the economic losses and serious consequences to human health, the meeting participants emphasized the need for a sub-regional reference laboratory to assist them in their fight against brucellosis. NVRC has a clear objective of working on acquiring the status of OIE Reference Laboratory for Brucellosis in the future.